The Four Seasons in Limassol, Cyprus has been open since 1993 and is independently owned and operated by Muskita Hotels Ltd. It’s a Five Star deluxe property with 304 rooms, 6 restaurants, 4 bars, and extensive conference facilities, Shiseido Spa, a full range of sports and fitness facilities and a shopping area with exclusive boutiques, watches and jewelry. The Hotel is situated on its own sandy beach, which has been awarded with the Blue Flag (a symbol of cleanliness and safety awarded by the European Community) and is 8 kilometers East of Limassol city center.
The Four Seasons’ management is constantly looking for effective ways to build strong relations with its customers and optimize sales programs. The Hotel’s website is its important marketing tool that helps the property to attract and retain elite guests from all over the World.
Mr. Nick Aristou, the property’s Executive Director, decided to enhance the website with an online business chat solution. “Our objective was to make it easy for our customers to navigate the website,” says Mr. Aristou. “Also, we wanted to convert as many visitors into customers as possible by making it easy for them to complete bookings.”
Mr. Aristou, who has a strong technology background, did a thorough review of available products, including such market leaders as LivePerson. However, none of them matched Four Season’s specific needs. The main limitations were the lack of multilingual support, patchy compatibility with tablet users and absence of robust archival features.
Then Mr. Aristou came across LiveWebAssist, a chat solution deployed on the IceWarp site, and realized it was the perfect match. He decided to try it out on the Four Season’s site, but then found out it was not the final release yet. Still, Mr. Aristou went ahead and launched LiveWebAssist at Four Seasons’ webpage, assigning three operators to interact with customers.
From the very beginning, the Four Season’s customer service team was making the most of LiveWebAssist’s multilingual interface and Knowledgebase support features to interact with customers in English, Greek and Russian.. The property’s sales and marketing team started to see LiveWebAssist’s effect almost immediately – the bookings increased.
“LiveWebAssist contributed a lot to this on many occasions,” says Mr. Aristou. “Our analysis showed that customers booked because they were given real-time explanations through the chat service.”
Four Season’s technology team also liked LiveWebAssist’s capability to recognize returning Website visitors.
“The excellent feature helps an operator to resume the conversation from the same spot where it was ended or interrupted,” says Mr. Aristou. “That makes users spend on average 7-8 minutes on the site, a very high indicator.”
In an approach radically different form other chat products, LiveWebAsisst supports the InLine no-flash chat architecture, eliminating pop-up windows. This design allows more visitors to initiate chat sessions, because they don’t have to deal with popup blockers and assures usability for visitors from tablets like iPad or Android.
Additionally, this option gives actionable information about the visitors’ behavior.
“The operators can tell exactly where the user is on the site, so they can offer them immediate assistance, tell them where to go and answer questions with a high degree of relevancy,” says Mr. Aristou. “It’s a very useful feature.”
LiveWebAssist’s analytical capabilities helped the hotel to optimize its Internet marketing strategy.
“LiveWebAssist analytics capabilities are very good,” notes Mr. Aristou. “They are helping us to locate sources our customers are coming from. It’s a very effective tool, especially when used in conjunction with Google analytics.”
Another feature Four Seasons’ team found practical is LiveWebAssist Knowledgebase. At any point of the conversation, it allows to insert pre-approved messages (such as terms and conditions, cancellation policy, etc.) as well as URLs and graphics with a single click.
“It has been very useful, we have almost three pages of knowledgebase content now,” notes Mr. Aristou. “The option provides more professional outlook and helps to standardize responses. Operators don’t have to think about how to phrase them. In the near future, we are planning to extend the knowledgebase with images and, possibly, videos.”
According to Four Seasons’ technology team estimates, the training and ramp-up process was painless.
“The functionality of the program is simple, anybody who can use a social chat program can get accustomed to LiveWebAssist very easily,” notes Mr. Aristou.
For the support function, Four Seasons team used LiveWebAssist Direct Chat Technology, the VIP connection that gives dedicated access to key IceWarp support personnel. This option makes it possible to reach the important contacts no matter where they are – at their desktop, off-site, or on the road.
“The VIP link option has been very useful, and IceWarp support team was very prompt,” says Mr. Aristou.
Four Seasons is now planning to expand LiveWebAssist functionality.
“We are considered using it on mobile devices, and, possibly, integrating the solution with a new CRM system,” says Mr. Aristou.
In the future, the property is thinking about hiring more operators and starting to use LiveWebAssist automated translation functionality.
According to Mr. Aristou’s estimates, LiveWebAssist was showing compelling ROI from the day it was implemented.
“Just from my own observation, from the number of bookings that have been converted directly through LiveWebAssist, I can say that it has paid for itself almost immediately” says Mr. Aristou he would definitely recommend LiveWebAssist to other organizations in the hospitality industry.
“Selling hotel rooms is always a complex matter,” says Mr. Aristou. “Usually, hotel bookings for five+ star hotels are a very high-value item. It’s not a $10-20 purchase from Amazon. They are usually $5,000-6,000 per transactionand there are many issues for potential customers to understand before they actually commit to book. Anything that can give a customer greater confidence and prompt him to make a decision to buy is very valuable. LiveWebAssist gives us exactly that.”
Global outsourcer Aegis, which has a significant presence in Australia, has again received a Silver MVP Quality Award from US-based Technology Marketing Corporation's (TCM) CUSTOMER magazine.
CUSTOMER's MVP Quality Awards acknowledge organisations with "a true commitment to high ethical quality standards, methodology and business compliance". Aegis Global CEO Sandip Sen said the company has earned the MVP Quality Award for the fifth consecutive year.
"This progression clearly outlines our dedication and commitment to providing the best customer experience while continuously maintaining an innovative approach to quality, and offering cost-effective, high-quality solutions to many of the world's leading brands," he said. TMC CEO Rich Tehrani said Aegis has demonstrated a true commitment to high ethical standards, stringent policies and challenging goals.
US computer giant Dell has opened a new operations site in Chengdu during a forum staged to highlight the Chinese city's potential as an IT hub.
The new Dell facility will combine customer service, sales and manufacturing. "Dell's Chengdu operations site is a milestone in Dell's 'Go West' strategy and underscores our deep commitment to the China market," Dell Global Emerging Markets chairman Admit Midha said. The establishment of Dell's Chengdu facility is also expected to help attract worldwide suppliers to the city and to spur related manufacturing industries in the area.
German software company SAP's Alex Atzberger said China is a very important market for his company. "Chengdu can be a hub of mobile and cloud (technologies) in China. Therefore it is important for SAP to have a development plan in this market," he said. SAP has sent engineers to Chengdu to develop cloud services and other technologies, and it is also working with many partners based in Chengdu and other parts of western China.
Leaders in Customer Experience Strategy consulting and the largest provider of Customer Experience Research and Analyst studies in Australia, Fifth Quadrant, this week announced the launch of its Co-creation and Customer Experience Design Practice.
Co-creation is a form of open innovation where ideas are shared. Customer Co-creation is the process of organisations creating products, services and experiences in collaboration with consumers, tapping into their intellectual capital and in exchange giving them a direct say in what actually gets produced, manufactured, developed or designed.
Co-creation is a key part of Fifth Quadrant's Customer Experience Design method and has been used across multiple industry sectors.
Research by Fifth Quadrant shows that despite 62% of organisations across Australia and New Zealand citing Customer Experience as one of their top strategies for 2013, very few involve customers or employees in the Customer Experience Design process. In many cases, it appears that organisations will invest significant time and resources in a customer experience design that doesn't create any significant benefit for the customer or the business.
In order to design differentiated experiences that actually meet customer needs, organisations may utilise Co-creation as a primary method of Customer Experience Design. "It is not possible for organisations to unlock personalised value for customers without having customers involved in the unlocking of that value" said Dr Catriona Wallace, CEO, Fifth Quadrant.
For more information on Fifth Quadrant's Co-creation methodology please contact Claire Chow on +61 2 9927 3399 and please see attachment.
Milpitas, CA (USA), and Melbourne, Australia - 14 June, 2013 – BolderView today announced that it has opened its doors in Australia and has become a Value Added Reseller (VAR) of Virtual Assistants powered by noHold.
noHold is the developer of the most interactive and diagnostic Virtual Assistant technology and Knowledge Management solutions. With successful Virtual Assistant implementations across multiple industries and on a global scale, noHold has realized the importance of providing a physical office in Australia and New Zealand. Specifically in Australia, one of the largest investor services companies as well as a popular online retailer have used noHold Virtual Assistants to increase First Contact Resolution (FCR) while reducing support costs and increasing customer satisfaction. Virtual Assistants are the future of web and mobile customer interaction.
Global technology market research companies are calling Virtual Assistants (VA) the wave of the future and they are predicting that more than 50% of online transactions will be handled by VAs in the near future. To date, Australian companies have not kept pace with those predictions. None of the leading providers of Virtual Assistant technology have offices in Australia/New Zealand. With no local marketing and sales presence, many ANZ companies are simply not aware of the benefits that Virtual Assistants provide.
BolderView’s founder recognised the opportunity and launched Australia’s first and only company focused exclusively on deploying Virtual Assistant solutions. Opening BolderView’s office in Melbourne means Australian & New Zealand companies have a local source for the world’s leading technologies and reselling noHold Virtual Assistants is a key component of that strategy.
“An existing successful relationship with BolderView’s founder, multiple happy customers and a market propensity to use Virtual Assistants made it very easy for us to decide to expand in Australia. We are happy to work with BolderView and looking forward to our continued partnership,” said Diego Ventura, CEO of noHold.
Dave Brown, Founder and Managing Director of BolderView said, “Companies in North America and Europe have been adopting Virtual Agent technology at an amazing pace. Australian companies are behind the curve – primarily because there’s been no local presence by any of the leading providers. BolderView is changing that. We represent the world’s most advanced Virtual Agent technology and we are very proud for noHold be part of our solutions.”